Antiques Roadshow Disappointments

The experts always say “Buy what you love. It’s the best reason to.” And yet…
An old woman on today’s show who wears clothes and adornments signalling her interest in appearances, images, and likely beauty. Thought she’d bought a certain vintage chesterfield, which looked like something she’d own anyway–the red plush cushioning, the wooden decorations. Paid 2 thou for it and believed it was the genuine article by a certain designer. She said, in any case, that she had had full value for it for as long as she had owned it.

And the appraiser slowly, painfully, took her through her missing information, leaving her with a value of several hundred and the unmistakable knowledge that the designer had been dead years before her chesterfield had been made. She was palpably disappointed.

She had bought something she really liked and maybe she did feel she had had her money’s worth of enjoyment quite apart from what she believed was the true nature of the item. But she had also bought a dream, an image, a surface, without adequate background, without complete information. She wanted to believe, and that hope had misinformed her choice on a number of levels. She had set herself up for disappointment because of a lack of info and experience with regard to genuine antiques.

Same thing happened earlier on the same show to an aging, grey-braided Lynyrd Skynard t-shirted hippie who came to find out if he owned genuine Remington and Russell cowboy sculptures. He didn’t. Both had believed they owned something genuinely valuable, but their dreams turned to dust for public viewing, and to serve as a lesson to buy carefully if one is planning to buy the real thing.

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